Metaphor and Framing in Cognition and Practice: Take Metaphors for AIDS as Examples

Ying CHEN, Junzi ZHOU


The notion of “framing” as an important function of metaphor can be applied to the related perspective: cognitive and practice-based. We analyze these perspectives by applying it to a corpus-based study according to Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) and English Web 2015 (enTenTen15) Corpus in Sketch Engine of illness-related for AIDS concordances and collocations and demonstrate its value to both theory and practice. By analyzing the data which includes violence-related metaphors for AIDS and through the application of this framework, we can find that there are merits in applying the notion of framing at different levels of generality in metaphor analysis (conceptual metaphors and linguistic metaphors), so that we can have a deeper understanding of cognition and framing in AIDS. Metaphor has characteristics of salience and mutual reactions, therefore, this article tries to study metaphor from the perspective of frame theory so that it can provide a new angle for researching metaphor. According to theoretical and practical advantages of taking two levels into account when considering the use of metaphor for communicating about sensitive topics such as AIDS and people’s positive, negative or neutral attitudes towards AIDS. We emphasize that there is a need for “rich” definition of framing when evaluating, comprehending and commenting.


AIDS; Framing theory; Conceptual metaphor; Illness as metaphor

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